Porsche Begins Production of Synthetic Fuel, Filling 911 With First Drop

Are battery-electric vehicles really the future of the auto industry? It seems that way now, but no one knows what will happen tomorrow if the past three years are any indication. Automakers are making big bets with batteries but are also exploring other alternative technologies. Porsche has invested heavily in synthetic fuels, and those efforts are making headway.

The automaker has announced that it has started producing synthetic fuel at its plant in Chile. Porsche celebrates the achievement by filling the 911 with its first developed drops.

eFuel is made from water and carbon dioxide using wind energy, which is one of the reasons why this facility is located in Punta Arenas. Southern Chile is windy, with light breezes about 270 days a year, allowing wind turbines to run at full capacity. It is also located near the Magellan Straight, making it convenient for shipping fuel around the world.

The pilot phase of the plant will produce around 130,000 liters of eFuel per year or 34,342 gallons. That’s not enough to whet America’s appetite for gasoline — we used 134.83 billion gallons of fuel in 2021 alone, according to US Energy Information Administration.

However, there are plans to increase eFuel production by the middle of this decade, with production up to a projected 55 million liters per year. The company expects its capacity to increase to 550 million liters two years later. That’s 145 million gallons, and a drop in fuel consumption, but it’s also a start.

While eFuels will help Porsche achieve its goal of carbon neutrality, which it aims to achieve by 2030, they also have other benefits. Synthetic fuels could help power more than 1.3 billion cars with internal combustion engines that will operate for decades.

Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Council for Development and Research at Porsche, said that eFuel will “offer existing car owners a nearly carbon neutral alternative.” And it will help the automaker keep its ICE cars, old and new, on the road.

Synthetic fuels and alternatives to BEVs are nothing new. Audi tested synthetic diesel back in 2010, and automakers are still investing in and developing hydrogen-powered vehicles. The likely scenario is a future where multiple technologies support the way we move, with BEVs, hydrogen and eFuel all available for a wide range of applications.

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